Planner’s Bookshelf 2008

The following items have been selected as the Planner’s Bookshelf. It is assumed that all planners interested in retailing would have access to journals such as Estates Gazette and Planning to keep them up to date with current developments.

Updated March 2008

Guy, C.
Planning for retail development: A critical view of the British experience
London: Routledge, 2007, 292p. ISBN 0415354536

This volume updates Cliff Guy’s 1994 volume on the same subject. As such it covers the last decade of retail planning policy in the UK which has been a substantial departure from the previous decade. Three chapters focus on the changes in policy since 1960. The rest of the book is on key aspects of planning policy with chapters on:

  1. Demand, need and impact
  2. Innovation, productivity, competition and retail planning
  3. Sustainability, shopping travel and retail policy
  4. Social exclusion, access to shopping and retail policy
  5. Urban regeneration and retail policy.

The final chapter evaluates retail planning policy discussing its effectiveness, unresolved issues and points relating to the operation of policy.

Competition Commission
Groceries market investigation; Provisional decision on remedies
London: Competition Commission, 2008.

Available online: www.competition-

Four papers comprise the provisional remedies:

  • Provisional decision on remedies: background and overall assessment (24p)
  • Provisional decision on remedies relating to planning (60p)
  • Provisional decision on remedies relating to supply chain practices (55p)
  • Provisional decision on remedies relating to controlled land sites (96p)

The remedies relating to planning and that relating to controlled land sites are of most relevance to retail planning. In terms of retail planning there are proposals to introduce a competition test which would attempt to regulate the number of stores greater than 1000 square metres which a retailer could operate within a given isochrone. The ways in which this could be operated are discussed at some length with the pros and cons of local authority versus OFT organisation outlined. It is suggested that the control would extend beyond new developments to retailers taking over pre-existing premises by means of a licensing system operated by the OFT.

HM Government
Planning for a Sustainable Future: White Paper
Norwich: HMSO, 2007, 145p. (Cm7120). Available online at

This is the key policy document presenting government policy on the shape of land use planning in the UK. The text of the Planning White Paper encompasses a broad range of planning issues. Chapter 7 is concerned with retail planning and in particular the need test.

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Planning policy statement 6. Planning for town centres
London: ODPM, 2005, 36p. Available online at ISBN 0117539392

The final version of PPS6 was published on 21st March 2005. It is very similar to the draft version. Some minor amendments have been made with a more careful use of terminology, greater specificity of a few sections and amplification of some sections such as that relating to extensions.

British Council of Shopping Centres
Future of retail property
London: British Council of Shopping Centres, 2006-7. Executive summaries available online at

A set of 9 volumes which examine a wide aspects of shopping centre futures:

  • Verdict Future of retail property: Changing demographics and consumer patterns, No. 1, 140p. ISBN 1897958307.
  • Myers, H. and Lumbers, M. Future of retail property: Consumers over 55: silver shoppers provide a golden opportunity, No.2, 80p. ISBN 189758315.
  • Court, Y. Future of retail property: Online retailing: the impact of the click on the brick, No. 3, 120p. ISBN 1897958323.
  • Ardill, R. Future of retail property, Future of brands, No.4, 60p. ISBN 1897958331.
  • Derek Halden Consultancy and Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling Future of retail property: Future of retail transport: access, information and flexibility, No. 5, 84p. ISBN 189795834X.
  • Bach, M. and Thurstain-Goodwin, M. Future of retail property: In town or out of town, No.6, 58p. ISBN 1 897958358.
  • Cuthbertson, C. and Snow, P. Future of retail property: future of retail business models, No. 7, 80p. ISBN 1897958366.
  • Blake, N., Morley, S. and Bach, M. Future of retail property: How much space?
    No. 8, 82p. ISBN 1897958374.
  • O’Neill, T., Cocker, B.and Drummond, P. Future of retail property: Future shopping places, No. 9, 170p. ISBN 1897958382.
  • Barkham, R. Future of retail property: Shopping places for people, No. 10, 106p. ISBN 187958412.

Department of Trade and Industry
The Retail Strategy Group report: driving change
London: DTI, 2004, 108p. Available online at

The role of the Retail Strategy Group is to assist the UK government and the retail industry to identify key issues that impact on the competitiveness and productivity of the industry. A key part of the report includes chapters on the value of retail, retail productivity, regulatory burdens on retail, retail crime, planning and retail development and commercial property and leasing. The planning report is the result of an independently commissioned piece of work carried out by DTZ Pieda Consulting. Key outcomes were the need for retailers and planners to work together in the preparation of regional plans, the need to explore methods of achieving land assembly for development purposes, to influence PPS6 and to raise small retailer awareness of planning processes to ensure that small retailers are engaged in the process. It is noted that there is concern that often there is a lack of understanding of retailing by planners.

National Retail Planning Forum
The role and vitality of secondary shopping – a new direction
London: NRPF, 2004, 59p.

The National Retail Planning Forum commissioned research on secondary shopping with a view to considering how planning legislation as proposed in Draft PPS6 and in the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act would impact on secondary shopping. It seeks ways top make the planning framework positive for secondary shopping. Town centre fringe, district centres and small town centres all come under the grouping secondary shopping. Case study data from each type of secondary data was used with examples from Exeter, Seaton, Reigate, Birmingham, Doncaster, Bolton, Sutton and Cheam. The relative significance of national and local aspects of change are discussed. A number of recommendations for planning policy specific to secondary centres are made.

CB Hillier Parker and Cardiff University
A policy evaluation of the effectiveness of PPG6
London: ODPM, 2004, 96p. Available online at

This substantial report assessed the effectiveness of PPG6 and was the document which paved the way for draft PPG6. The first section discusses the evolution of policy and the place of PPG6 in the context of planning reform. The next section looks at attitudes, understanding and interpretation of policy with reference to the plan-led approach, need, sequential test, town centres, hierarchy of centres and the assembly of land. The third section examines the impact of developments resulting form PPG6. The fourth section asks how successful PPG6 has been. This is followed by conclusions and recommendations. The findings emphasise the acceptance and success of over all goals but accept that there have been problems in the implementation and interpretation of policy. It is also acknowledged that the policy has been more successful as a development control tool than as plan-led pro-active policy with restrictions being observed but a lack of commensurate town centre investment.

Scottish Executive
Research study on the effectiveness of NPPG8: Town centres and retailing
Edinburgh: Scottish Executive, 2004, 152p. Available online at

This document presents the research commissioned by the Scottish Executive from CBRE, University of Stirling and Colin Buchanan and Partners. The research included an assessment of existing findings on retailing in Scotland, survey work and focus groups and represents a broad based consultation with experts and practitioners. Topics included in the document are: retail change, defining centres – their use mix and status, sequential approach – flexibility and definition, support for new development, retail deprivation and retail assessment methodology. The report urges better data collection and more evidence based research. Flexibility is required with greater attention to locally meaningful interpretations of concepts such as edge of centre. Equally a consumer based understanding of the relationship between parking and shopping is required.

Guy, C.
Trading places
London: National Retail Planning Forum and Town and Country Planning Association, 2003.

This volume brings together the contributions by Cliff Guy from the ‘Trading Places’ section of Town and Country Planning. This provides an accessible source of recent material on retail planning issues as well as by combining these together a broader picture of how key ideas are developing.